Saturday, April 30, 2005

Europeans Look To Start Alternative to Google Print

This is an interesting article in E-Commerce Times. For example, look at these quotes:
Google has committed to spend as much as US$150 million on the project, but will stand to benefit from being able to place advertising on the pages served up by the repository.

...France has been at the leading edge of document-digitization efforts and likely has more books of national important online than many of the countries working with Google.

Northern New York Historical Newspapers

The Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) has mounted a collection of historic newspapers on the Internet with more than 170,000 pages from thirteen newspapers in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties. All of the materials were digitized from microfilm. I believe the microfilm was scanned using a Canon 800 microfilm scanner that NNYLN purchased in 2003.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Memories made visible

I was at a lecture several weeks ago where the phrase "memories made visible" was used. A person there spoke of how memories are private, yet by sharing them, we make them public. Private memories (kept to ourselves) need no explanations, but a memory shared may need to be explained in order to be understood.

When we digitize items such as journals, diaries and photographs, we are making memories visible and sharable. Hopefully we are building context so that the memory is not standing alone, but has the supporting material its needs so that it is fully understood. For example, a socialite's diary containing her written memories of her daily activities may be meaningless without information on the events of the time or materials from other people. Her views may seem skewed until we "connect the dots" even with other text in the same diary.

Is your project making someone's memories visible? If yes, have you ensured that the memories will be understood? Have you built the correct context?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Workshops at the Digital Curation Centre

David Mattison's Ten Thousand Year Blog and the DIGLIB mailing list this week note three workshops being given by the Digital Curation Centre in England.
What makes this very interesting is that if you go to the DCC homepage, there are no pointers these workshops. It is as if they don't exist. Makes for interesting marketing!

European libraries join forces against Google global virtual library reports:

Nineteen European national libraries have joined forces against a planned communications revolution by Internet search giant Google to create a global virtual library, organisers said Wednesday.

The 19 libraries are backing instead a multi-million euro counter-offensive by European nations to put European literature online.

Several other libraries are supporting the measure without formally signing it. At least one other library is set to sign onto this initiative.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Turning pages in an online journal

A student (Elizabeth) found this on the ARLIS discussion list and it is "way cool." Here is technology that allows you to view a bound document online in a way that seems very natural. You can turn the pages, take notes, add bookmarks, and more. If you download the document (file) and save it on your PC, you still have the same features.

Intrigued? Look at the May 2005 issue of Managing Automation to see how this technology from NXTbook Book Media works. The company's client list is impressive.

Yes, some of these features are available in e-book readers. This, however, works without downloading a separate reader. And imagine marrying this with a digitized book? I can!

The innovation gap

Meredith Farkas in her blog Information Wants To Be Free wrote a great piece earlier this month on innovation in libraries. Meredith wrote, "I see these three types of libraries – those that are change agents, those who keep up, and those that are change averse..."

We all know of a library that seems to be change averse. We struggle with how to get that library to understand what it is doing to itself. If it doesn't change and keep up with its patrons, it will become obsolete.

Change comes by focusing on your patrons' needs. Do you know what they need? Consider these questions to get you thinking:
  • What books are your patrons reading? You know what is being circulated from your library, but do you really know what they're reading from bookstores and newsstands?

  • What information are your patrons looking for online? Is it information that your library carries or should carry?

  • What can you do to get "out in front" and lead your patrons to the innovations that they will be using next? Now that's a question worth mulling over a tall cup of coffee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections (updated)

In 2001, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) published A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. Since then, NISO sponsored an updated version, which was completed in 2004. The new version includes three brief case studies.

lbarnhart's posting on Diglet noted that it was unknown what the differences were between the two versions. Indeed, it would have been nice if NISO had release a document that talked about why the update was done and what is different.

Since many people know about the original Framework, IMLS has instituted an automatic forward on its site, so that you are automatically taken to the new version. Nice, but does this mean that no one should ever even read the previous version as a way of finding out what has changed?

BTW looking at the NISO homepage, one would not even guess that this Framework document was there. It seems to be a hidden gem on the NISO site.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Scanning oversized materials

Now I'm not sure where I saw this mentioned, but it caught my eye. It is the Microtek ScanMaker 9800 XL. The scanner has a:
large 12" x 17" reflective scan area - Scans oversize materials, such as newspapers and tabloid magazines - Lets you "batch scan" multiple photos for greater efficiency in a production environment.

This scanner costs $1,399.99.

Microtek also makes a version that includes a:
transparent media adapter- Scans film up to 12" x 16" in size - Includes film templates for 35mm slides and filmstrips, 4" x 5" film, and medium format film - Ideal for medical professionals. Digitizes X-rays for electronic storage.

That scanner costs $1,799.99.

Vendors need to talk! (Part 2 -- a page from Dialog's play book)

Ever since I can remember (and my memories in this area do go back to the early 1980s), Dialog has courted MLS students. (Dialog is an online information services with terabytes of content.) Dialog has provided passwords for library schools to use so they could demonstrate or teach about Dialog. They have freely provided reference materials and user guides. Even now, a section of the company's web site is devoted to students (Dialog Graduate Education Program). Dialog knew that introducing students to its service was an important step in getting corporations and others to use its services. And it worked.

Vendors who are involved in various aspects of digitization need to understand that students are their future users and their future advocates. They would be wise to demonstrate their products to students (perhaps to entire classes at library/information schools). Doing so could help the vendors in years to come.

Presentation schedule for METRO's Digitization Expo

Below is updated info on METRO's Digitization Expo to be held soon in NYC. A very interesting format that will provide people the chances to hear what vendors have to say as well as see their products.

* * * * *


Monday, May 9, 2005
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

On Monday, May 9, 2005, the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) is hosting the METRO Digitization Expo. This is your opportunity to meet face-to-face with the leading digitization hardware, software, and service providers to find the perfect tools and resources for your digital projects. Many of the vendors will also be providing informative sessions on a variety of digitization topics.

METRO member libraries will also be on hand to give presentations on their recent digital projects.

For additional information and to register:

Companies expected to appear include:

Academic Imaging Associates, Backstage Library Works, Boston Photo Imaging, Center for Digital Imaging, Color By Pergament, Digital Library Systems Group at Image Access, Ex Libris, iArchives, Innodata Isogen, JJT Inc., Luna Imaging, OCLC, Olive Software, RLG, Safe Sound Archive, Stokes Imaging, and VidiPax.

METRO member libraries scheduled to present include: Rutgers University, Columbia University, and The New York Public Library.

Schedule of Vendor Sessions and Member Presentations:
Each session and presentation is scheduled for 45 minutes.

10:15 Innodata Isogen
10:30 RLG
11:00 Rutgers University: “New Jersey Digital Highway”
11:15 Ex Libris: “Digitool, the Sophisticated and Flexible Digital Content Management System”
11:30 OCLC: “Digital Lifecycle Solutions: An Integrated Approach”
12:00 Columbia University: “Columbia Libraries Digital Program”
12:15 Luna Imaging: “Luna Insight”
12:30 iArchives
1:00 OCLC: “Grant Proposal Writing for Digital and Preservation Projects”
1:15 Safe Sound Archive: "Planning a Digital Audio Preservation Transfer Project"
1:30 Center for Digital Imaging
2:00 The New York Public Library: “Noodling in the Background....What Underlies the NYPL Digital Gallery"
2:15 Olive Software: “No Longer Just a Preservation Center, Historical Archives Can Be Transformed Into a Profit Center”
2:30 Academic Imaging Associates/Boston Photo Imaging: “Determining Scanning Needs and Meeting Them: Needs Assessment, Equipment, Workflow, Outsourcing”

The METRO Digitization Expo will be held from 10:00 AM -- 4:00 PM on Monday, May 9, 2005 at the Baruch College – Newman Conference Center. Come for an hour or stay for the day. This event is open to METRO members and non-members. Advanced registration is available for $10 on our website until May 5, 2005. Onsite registration is $15 cash only.

For additional details and to register:

If you have any questions, please contact Richard Kim, Digital Library Services Coordinator, at

Friday, April 22, 2005

Vendors need to talk!

My graduate students, some of which are already working in libraries, completed an assignment where they had to gather information on digitization vendors in their geographic region. Some had a hard time finding vendors, because there are none in their region. Some found vendors, but the vendors wouldn't talk to them. Do the students want proprietary information? No. They only want to understand what the vendor does and who they do it for. The assignment allows them to see the real world. I won't recount all of the stories, except one. A student encountered a vendor who would give her his contact information.

What the vendors don't realize is that these "students" will be their clients. (Some may already be in a position to recommend digitization vendors to their organizations.) These are students who want to work in digital libraries and be involved in digitization projects. Thus providing just a little information could help to land a client for the vendor later on.

Thankfully, there are some vendors who will willingly talk to anyone. There are also vendors who have placed detailed and helpful information on their web sites. (A side note - some vendors were not contacted because their web sites were not professional looking.)

If you're a vendor and you have taken time to explain what you do to someone who is not handing you an RFI/RFP, thank you! You have helped to educate someone who may turn into a client or who may refer you to someone else.

As the saying going, you never know where you next client will come from.

National Diet Library working on digitization of books

In Japan, "the National Diet Library is wrestling to digitize 8.14 million books to keep pace with the age of the Internet and to prepare against major earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The Diet library, the only archive of the legislative branch of government in Japan, has been collecting publications issued in the country since its opening in 1948." Approximately 55,000 books are currently available on the Internet. Read the article in Japan Today for more information.

Earth Day (2005) and images of our solar system

Earth Day, which was begun in 1970, is a worldwide movement aimed at protecting our planet. When we protect the Earth, we also protect ourselves and our future (and that of generations to come).

Some of us on this Earth Day are living an abundant life, but that is not so everywhere. According to Ode Magazine (March 2005, p. 56):

Of the 4.4 billion people living in developing countries, nearly three-fifths lack access to sewers, a third lack clean water, a quarter lack housing, and a fifth lack healthcare of any kind. Every day 800 million people go hungry. A baby born today in Botswana has a life expectancy of 39.

If you would like to view images of our planet today, go to Welcome to the Planets which is a "collection of many of the best images from NASA's planetary exploration program." The site is hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lists of document imaging vendors

It can be very helpful to find lists of digitization vendors or vendors that provide scanning equipment. Every list may bring us closer to finding the vendor we want to work with.

Tamilla Mavlanova located these three lists have to do with document imaging vendors and consultants:

  • Business Online Service's list of Document Imaging Consulting Services
  • Google Directory's list of Document Imaging Consulting Services
  • eWoss's list of Document Imaging Vendors
  •'s list of Document Imaging Vendors

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Comparison Between Migration and Emulation in Terms of Costs

RLG DigiNews, April 15, 2005 contains a long and informative article entitled "A Comparison Between Migration and Emulation in Terms of Costs." Good stuff in this article. Consider this quote:
Where the conversion of objects to other formats constitutes a considerable cost factor in migration, these costs can be saved when applying emulation. In turn, emulation requires more initial investments, which makes it inappropriate for short-term preservation.

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2005

David Mattison noted several days ago that the program for this conference is now online. This looks like a very interesting conference, with three tracks:
  • Digital Libraries and Cyberinfrastructure
  • Users and Interaction
  • Tools and Techniques

Abstracts are now online. Let's hope that some of the full papers and presentations become available for those of us who can't attend the conference live.

Digitizing Historic Newspapers: A Practical Approach

As reported elsewhere, the Colorado Digitization Program is holding a workshop on Digitizing Historic Newspapers: A Practical Approach on July 18 2005 in Denver, CO. Registration is $75. A panel of speakers from libraries and museums will talk about:
  • Planning
  • Technical Issues and Options
  • Approaches to Funding
  • Copyright Considerations
  • Project Impact

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Multiple streams of income

That phrase was used last week at a conference that was unrelated to digitization. However, I wonder if that phrase should be considered by digital libraries and digitization programs? We often think about funding an initiative (in the beginning) with grants and in-kind contributions. Later, we look to the budget, and perhaps other sources, to keep a program going. But what if we thought about multiple streams of income up front when planning a digitization program or digital library?

Income?! Yes, somehow the program must pay for itself, especially after the initial funding goes away. How about we think in terms of income. How will this program generate income? How will it generate enough income to cover its costs, if not more? Could you:
  • Sell content?
  • Create a subscription service that provides something additional that users would pay for?
  • Use what you learned to create workshops to teach others?
  • Create a book (or e-book) based on the content and sell that?

None of those? Is there something else you could do to generate income from your programs? Take time over your morning coffee to ponder that and let me know what you come up with!

PADI trails

The National Library of Australia's Preserving Access to Digital Information group has created trails that "have been designed to introduce the beginner both to digital preservation and the PADI website. The trails consist of general background information, as well as links to resources from our PADI database. These resources have been chosen for their broad coverage and easy-to-read content of relevant topics. The trails are a subset of the full PADI database." There are six trails currently available including:

Presentations from the Computers in Libraries 2005 conference

If you haven't run across them yet, they are online. The site says that additional links will be provided as they become available.

Enterprise Electronic Content Management Constituent Group

For those of you interested in understanding and controlling electronic content (i.e., digital asset management, enterprise electronic content management and metadata), you may be interested in this new discussion list and resource area created by Educause. Although the list is geared towards universities, others may find its content useful.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Orphan Works: Issues and Legislative Strategies

Live Event Date & Registration

Event Date: Monday, May 2, 2005, 3:00-4:30 pm EDT (12:00 noon - 1:30 Pacific)
Registration Fee: Free
Register Online:
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 27, 2005

About Teleconference

What do you do if you can't find the copyright holder of a work (say a photograph, article, or film clip) that you want to use in a book or a Web site? The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Medical Library Association (MLA) are sponsoring an interactive teleconference on Orphan Works, Monday, May 2, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT. A panel of experts will discuss various options to address problems associated with and possible strategies for dealing with orphan works, copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate. Teleconference participants will listen to commentary from each of the presenters--representing diverse constituencies--and have the opportunity to submit questions as part of the live discussion.

On January 26, 2005, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking information about "orphan works." The Copyright Office has received hundreds of comments from a diverse range of interests, including comments from the Library Copyright Alliance that includes ARL and MLA, the College Art Association, the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic, and more. These comments provide examples of obstacles that individuals and institutions face when trying to use orphan works and recommendations regarding legislative solutions to this serious problem. The Copyright Office may conduct hearings on the issue of orphan works and will produce a report by the end of 2005.

What are orphan works?
What problems have users faced when trying to use orphan works?
Is this a problem faced by a diverse range of constituencies?
Are there implications for the conduct of research and education?
Does this issue of orphan works present a challenge to digitization initiatives?
How can this issue be addressed through legislation and what are some of the key elements of a legislative solution?

Intended Audience

  • Librarians
  • Library Administrators
  • Legal Counsels
  • Media Specialists
  • Professionals in the Visual Arts


  • Presenter: Jonathan Band, Legal counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance and Partner, Morrison & Foerster
  • Presenter: Jeffrey Cunard, Legal counsel to the College Art Association Counsel and Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • Presenter: Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law and Director of Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic, American University
  • Moderator & Presenter: Prue Adler, Associate Executive Director, Federal Relations and Information PolicyAssociation of Research Libraries


A list of additional readings and Web sites will be sent to registered participants prior to the teleconference.

Technical Requirements & System Diagnostic

Participants will dial in to a conference call to hear presenters. Questions can be submitted to presenters during the teleconference using an online chat function. Complete instructions will be sent to all registered participants.

For more information, please contact the Dinell Mitchell, Administrative Assistant, E-mail • Phone 202-296-8656• Fax 202-872-0884

* * * * *
Thanks to Dasa York for making me and others aware of this.

The Infinite Library.

The Infinite Library by Wade Roush in the May 2005 issue of the MIT Technology Review talks about the Google digitization project and its effect on libraries. A very interesting, long article. Here are some quotes to peak your interest:

  • But some...believe Google’s efforts and others like it will force libraries and librarians to reexamine their core principles—including their commitment to spreading knowledge freely.

  • The stakes are high, both for Google and for the library community—and the technologies and business agreements being framed now could determine how people use libraries for decades to come.

  • But the entire [Google] project, [Susan] Wojcicki admits, hinges on those digitization machines: a fleet of proprietary robotic cameras, still under development, that will turn the digitization of printed books into a true assembly-line process and, in theory, lower the cost to about $10 per book, compared to a minimum of $30 per book today.

  • Neither Google nor its partner libraries have announced exactly how the process will work. But John Wilkin, associate university librarian at the University of Michigan, says it will go something like this: “We put a whole shelfful of books onto a cart, keeping the order intact. We check them out by waving them under a bar code reader. Overnight, software takes all the bar codes, extracts machine-readable records from the university’s electronic catalogue, and sends the records to Google, so they can match them with the books. Then we move the cart into Google’s operations room.”

    This room will contain multiple workstations so that several books can be digitized in parallel. Google is designing the machines to minimize the impact on books, according to Wilkin. “They scan the books in order and return the cart to us,” he continues. “We check them back in and mark the records to show they’ve been scanned. Finally, the digital files are shipped in a raw format to a Google data center and processed to produce something you could use.”

  • Then there are the problems of cataloguing and preserving digital holdings. Without the proper “metadata” attached—­author, publisher, date, and all the other information that once appeared in libraries’ physical card catalogues—a digital book is as good as lost. Yet creating this metadata can be laborious, and no international standard has emerged to govern which kinds of data should be recorded...

  • “The real question for libraries is, what’s the ‘value proposition’ they offer in a digital future?” says [Abby] Smith.

Digital Libraries à la Carte: Choices for the Future

Modular, International Digital Library Course
Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 21-26 August 2005

The International Ticer School (known for its former International Summer School on the Digital Library) offers a brand new, modular course for librarians and publishers: "Digital Libraries à la Carte: Choices for the Future". The course will be held at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, 21-26 August 2005.

From its ‘menu’ of five one-day modules, you can pick your choice:
  • trends and strategic issues
  • technological developments, relevant to libraries
  • consortia and licensing
  • Open Access and institutional repositories
  • the role of libraries in teaching and learning

Top speakers will present their views. Below is a selection.

  • Marissa Mayer is Director, Consumer Web Products at Google
  • Derk Haank is CEO of Springer and former CEO of Elsevier
  • Peter Suber is among the most cited authors on Open Access
  • Jenny Levine’s blog ( is read by thousands of librarians
  • Carol Tenopir has published over 200 journal articles and is cited frequently
  • Deb deBruijn closed the worldwide biggest consortium deal (over 50 million dollar)
  • Gerry McKiernan is the compiler of several known Web registries
  • Steven Gilbert is president of The TLT Group and an expert on learning landscapes
  • Pat Maughan transforms the undergraduate curriculum at the prestigious UC Berkeley to include information literacy training
To guarantee a highly interactive programme, the number of participants is limited to 45 per module, lectures contain an interactive component, and two modules are concluded with a practical workshop. The course is recommended by JISC, the DARE project, and SURF Diensten. The course website can be found at On the website you can find the full programme, the complete list of 20 lecturers with short bios, abstracts of most presentations and practical information about course fee and registration.

If you register before 1 June 2005, you will get a €150 discount.

Do you want a quick update in just one to five days?
Then Tilburg is the place to be this summer!

Further information
Ms Jola Prinsen
Course Manager Ticer B.V.
Tilburg University
P.O. Box 4191
5004 JD Tilburg
The Netherlands
tel. +31 13 466 8310
fax +31 13 466 8383

Friday, April 15, 2005

The end of two hectic weeks!

The last two weeks have been hectic because the calendar is filling up with conferences and meetings that have waited for consistently good weather.

Last week, I began a two-year digitization planning project with the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) located in Buffalo, NY. This is the fifth library council that I've worked with on either some aspects of a digitization plan or on digitization training.

WNYLRC has three goals for the next two years:
  • Establish guidelines and framework for conducting digitization projects in the region.
  • Establish WNYLRC as a regional resource for digitization projects undertaken by its members.
  • Explore the future possibility of providing a single point of access to digital collections housed at member libraries and library systems utilizing a federated search tool and make available through the established WNYLRC portal - (Currently, WNYLRC owns the domain, but nothing is yet available at that URL.)

Some of WNYLRC's members are already involved in digitization and I hope will provide inspiration (as well as lessons learned) for the rest of the region.

The highlight of this week was the third annual WISE conference here in Syracuse. WISE stands for Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship. The one-day conference was sponsored by several organizations and hosted by the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. The keynote speaker was Myra Hart of Harvard University who co-founded Staples.

In all, more than 500 people (including a handful of men) attended the WISE conference. Those that attended included established business owners as well as those in the start-up phase, and even students who feel the entrepreneurial spirit. Given the economic impact that women-owned businesses have, it is no wonder that the mayor for the City of Syracuse and the county executive for Onondaga County were both in attendance, as were the chancellor and provost for Syracuse University.

Although I think of the world as being more electronic, we still rely on paper. And so one of the items handed out yesterday to every participant was a binder filled with copies of presentations, resources, articles and more. Many trees were sacrificed, but I believe it was worth it. (And hopefully one of the impacts of the conference and its web site will have is that women entrepreneurs will all feel more comfortable with using electronic resources.)

One of the messages that stuck in my head from yesterday was to understand your goals and how best to achieve them. That is good advice for anyone and for any project.'s the weekend...have a good one.

National Library Week Tip #5

Do you connect the information in your digital library to events that are occurring now?

By connecting the your digital library to current events, your show your users how your collection is relevant to what's happening today. And your provide something that will keep them coming back.

How do you do this? You could:

  • "Pull out" or highlight items in your collections that relate to current events.
  • Create trivia questions that will connect your collection to recent happenings.
  • Create searches that your users could run to see what materials in the digital library relate to the present.
  • Write short article that talk about how materials in your digital library relate to current events. You could place these articles in their own spot or in the "What's New" section on the web site.

Do you need to do this for all current events? No. Be selective, but -- if you do it -- do it frequently. Your goal is to use this as a marketing tool that will bring users back again and again to your digital library.

The best way of doing this is to have someone in charge of the task. However, you might have your entire staff help by brainstorming ideas and stories that can be told. Likely you will surprise yourselves on the connections that can be made between your digital library and current events.

Think of this as a gift for your users -- a gift that will keep them coming back for more.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

National Library Week Tip #4

The saying goes that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Does your digital library have some elements (honey) to it that your users will enjoy using? For example, does it include some audio or video -- even just small amounts -- to help capture your users' attention? If your users include children and young adults, does you digital library have some learning games?

Yes, these elements are fun, but they also help us learn. Remember that people -- children and adults -- learn in different ways including reading, hearing, seeing, and playing games.

Reading is what we do most on the internet in digital libraries, as well as looking at images. Some digital libraries contain audio and video, while a few have interesting combinations of the three. Imagine having some audio and video, perhaps brief clips to introduce various sections of the digital library. You might include short lectures that discuss an online exhibit or video that shows the relationship between an online exhibit and one in your library (or the real world).

The audio/video could be changed at set intervals so that users will hear/see something new on a regular basis. The anticipation of new-ness -- the thought that something might have changed -- also keeps people coming back.

It is amazing how much can be taught during a game. You can teach history, language, science... Can you use simple games to intrigue your users and teach them at the same time? Or perhaps you could include quiz-type games that would help users know what they've learned from your digital library. Remember to not make the games too difficult or frustrating. Users shouldn't feel like they are embarking on an impossible challenge.

Or perhaps the game is just there to help users learn different aspects of you digital library. It could be a way of introducing sections, databases or features.

Audio, video, games --> all types of honey. Try them and see what users you attract.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sir Paul McCartney is sponsoring the Digital Preservation Award (call for entries)

The announcement below is from the Digital-Preservation Announcement and Information List.

* * * * *
Are you completing an exceptional digital preservation project? If so, why not apply for the Digital Preservation Award, worth £5000.

The award is one of five categories recognised by the Conservation Awards, the UK's premier awards in the field of conservation:
  • £15,000 for the Award for Conservation.
  • £10,000 for the NEW Award for Care of Collections.
  • £10,000 for the Student Conservator of the Year and their training institution.
  • £5000 for the Digital Preservation Award.
  • £2000 for the Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation.
This is the tenth anniversary of the Conservation Awards, which has a new sponsor - Sir Paul McCartney, and is the second year to include the prestigious Digital Preservation Award, which recognises the many new initiatives being undertaken in the challenging field of digital preservation.

The Awards will be presented at the British Museum on 22 November 2005. Short-listed applicants attract significant publicity, and receive a certificate recognising their achievement at the presentation event. To be eligible for the Digital Preservation Award, a project must demonstrate leadership and advancement in digital preservation which will benefit the UK. It must focus on preserving digital materials (whether "born digital" or digitised copies), rather than on the use of digitisation as a preservation reformatting tool. Only projects that have been completed by 31 May 2005 will be considered for the Award.

Applicants from overseas are welcomed, providing that the project can demonstrate benefit to the UK.

To apply for the Digital Preservation Award online, please complete the DPA/05 application form on the Conservation Awards website: The deadline for applications is 31 May 2005.

Queries about the Digital Preservation Award should be directed to Maggie Jones, Executive Secretary, Digital Preservation Coalition, by e-mail or by tel. no. 01904 435 362. Further information about the Conservation Awards is available on the website:

The Conservation Awards are supported by Sir Paul McCartney and are also funded and managed in partnership by English Heritage, the Institute of Paper Conservation, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the National Preservation Office and the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation. The Digital Preservation Award is sponsored by the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Research and Innovation Award by the Anna Plowden Trust.

The Capital District Library Council Digitization Plan

Digitization plans are meant to be read and used. Why else would we do them?!

This plan was developed for the Capital District (NY) Library Council in 2004, with input from their members and others. It will guide their activities over the next three years.

BTW if you're looking for a digitization vendor, this plan contains a long list of vendors on pages 26 - 42. I compiled the list during the summer of 2004 and know that it does not duplicate the list compiled by the NY State Archives. (See Imaging services vendors for digitizing government records)

National Library Week Tip #3

When marketing works, a user will come back and use a digital library again and again. Sometimes a return visit to the digital library is to find again information found there previously. Sometimes the return visit is done to lead someone else to the same materials. Without keeping the right clues, relocating the found information may become like finding a needle in a haystack.

When we deal with printed materials, like books in a library, we often work from physical clues as well as our notes to relocate something. Having a proper citation would help, but sometimes the clues we remember (section of the library, the color of the book, partial title) will lead us back to it.

In the online environment, if a user has kept copious notes about how a particular piece of information was found, then the user will be able to find it again. However, often a valuable nugget of information is found without keeping track of how it was found. And once found, a user may assume that he won't need to find it again, which means that clues that would help in relocating the information are not kept.

When teaching user about the digital library, we need to talk to them about keeping basic information about what they have found and used, so it can be found again. We need to also inform them that these digital libraries are constantly changing and that the basic information will be important if the source must now be accessed through another means. (For example, in a newspaper database, an article may be deleted due to copyright constraints or a change in the publisher's agreement. If the correct citation information is kept, an article could be retrieved from a hardcopy version of the newspaper or perhaps another electronic source. In addition, having the correct citation would facilitate discussions with database provider about the article, if necessary.)

Given the changing online environment, the information -- that should be kept -- makes sense. It is an expanded citation that includes basic information about the electronic resource used: the source's URL and date of access. The URL is important so that someone can go back to the same source (or the spot where it should be). The date of access is important in case the page/information has change or been removed. Having the date answers the basic question of when the user saw the information ("It was there? When did you see it?")

Many digital libraries contain information on citing electronic sources. However, these are often on a page that users must search out. Help users by creating obvious links on the digital library's home page and in other sections of the site. Include examples that would aid users in citing your specific collection (e.g., materials you have digitized and placed online). Give them the tools they need so they can keep the right clues to refind the materials.

Some database vendors (or information aggregators) provide citation help. For example, Thomson Gale has a page that would aid someone in constructing a proper citation from its databases. IIn addtion, this information could be used as a framework for citing materials from another vendor's database.

There are many resources on the Internet that will help users create proper and meaningful citations. Two excellent resources are:

Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources, 2003 Update has chapters on using the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), Chicago and Council of Science Editors (CBE) styles to citing electronic/online information. This source is well formatted with easy to follow examples.

The LANDMARKS Citation Machine provides easy-to-use forms that a user can complete in order to have it generate the correct citation for the materials. Citations are presented in both MLA and APA format.

Using the LANDMARKS Citation Machine, the MLA citation for this blog posting would be:
Hurst-Wahl, Jill. "National Library Week Tip #3." Digitization 101. 13 Apr 2005. 13 Apr. 2005 [Note that the first date listed is the date of publication and the second is the date of access.]
With the information in this citation, anyone would know exactly how to refind this posting and would know when I had accessed it.

Helping your users cite your digital library is indeed a form of marketing, since it helps them remember your library and the sources it contains. It also gives them a basic tool -- the ability to retrace their steps. Make sure your digital library gives them the right tools for the job.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Digitization related discussion lists

The PADI web site also contains a list of discussion lists that may be of interest to those involved in preserving access to digital information. Likely some you've not heard of previously. Worth checking out.

Digitization events calendar on the PADI web site

The National Library of Australia's Preserving Access to Digital Information (PADI) initiative tracks conferences and workshops geared towards the access to digital information. Their events calendar lists major events throughout the world. Take a look and see what's coming to a venue near you.

National Library Week Tip #2

When your digital library users run into problems, how can they get help?

Digital libraries have been launched without realizing that help must be available when the user needs it. Users don't want to wait until "normal" business hours in order to get assistance, especially if the information need is immediate. The problem is that libraries (digital or otherwise) often don't want to stretch their staff so it's available 24/7. So what can you do?

  • Ask your vendors if they can provide support for their own products. Don't assume that they can't provide support. Ask...and of course ask about the cost. (BTW you may prompt a vendor to start or expand a service that could benefit many of its users.)

  • Consider cooperating with other libraries in other time zones to extend the hours of support. This is already being done for "Ask Us" services such as the one run by the Western NY Library Resources Council. They note that "...this is an around the clock service staffed not only by librarians from Western New York, but also with librarians from across the country filling in when WNY librarians can't be on the desk." Having a cooperative arrangement will take some planning so that questions on the right products/services are asked of people who are not at your library.

    You might consider joining such a service that can handle the type of support questions your digital library receives rather than building your own.

  • Hire a team to specifically provide support during the off-hours. Considering talking to a library consulting firm or a help desk group about providing end-user help when your staff isn't available. Yes, you may have to provide some training and probably some QA (quality assurance) in order to ensure that the group understands and does what is needed. (Actually you should do that with a couple of the suggestions listed here.)

  • Work with a library/information school to have its students provide this service as part of an internship or class. An I-School might see (should see) this as a real opportunity to provide a real-world learning experience for its students while also providing a needed service for libraries.

  • Rearrange the work hours of your library staff to extend the hours of support. Yes, I'm suggestion stretching or rearranging your staff, even though you don't want to do it. Although this may seem like it will take away from your "normal" hours of operation, it may provide flexibility that could be beneficial. It's worth seriously thinking about before calling it a bad idea. (Both Douglas Zyskowski of the Southfield Public Library and Ed Rivenburgh of SUNY Geneseo have noted that libraries should shift workers to be available less in the daytime and more in the evening when the library is more heavily used.)

However you do it, you need to ensure that users can get questions answered in real-time. If you make them wait, it is likely that they will become dissatisfied and go elsewhere to locate the information -- or worse -- just give up.

The bottom line is that you need to be there for them when they need you.

Monday, April 11, 2005

New York Court Reestablishes Common Law Copyright

This story has been reported, but hasn't received as much "play" as I thought it would. Perhaps people are waiting for the "other shoe to drop" or for someone to clear up with that really means.

The BBC News wrote:

A major change to US music copyright practices could be in the offing after a court ruled a record label broke the law by reissuing old recordings.

New York's highest court said Naxos was wrong to release classical recordings by Yehudi Menuhin and others - even though they were out of copyright.

The court said such recordings were still covered by common law.

For more information, see:

Will this impact a digitization project? Perhaps...we'll have to wait to see how people (attorneys) analyze this. The article does note that it will affect the recording industry, although who knows how big the impact will really be.

* * * * *

Thanks to SNT Report for their reporting of this (with the resource list).

Digitization and Digital Libraries

Developed by UNESCO, FAO and the National Centre for Science Information (NCSI) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) this free training module is:
... designed to provide the conceptual and practical bases for the digitization of collections, and the creation and provision of access to digital libraries. The module provides 31 lessons concerned with the creation of digital libraries and the preservation of materials in digital format. Also included are lessons covering copyright issues, electronic formats for text and images, metadata and subject indexing, as well as a comprehensive overview of the creation and management of digital documents.
The module, delivered on CDs, is divided into six units:
  • Unit 1 - Conceptual overview
  • Unit 2 - Electronic documents and formats
  • Unit 3 - Metadata standards and subject indexing
  • Unit 4 - Creation and management of digital documents
  • Unit 5 - Creation and sharing of digital libraries
  • Unit 6 - Example of digital library software - Greenstone

Technorati tag:

The Preservation Services and Supplies Database @ SOLINET

We're always on the look out for lists of vendors. This database by SOLINET includes digitization vendors, as well as vendors who provide other services. SOLINET notes that, "Inclusion in this list does not imply SOLINET endorsement, nor does the omission of any supplier indicate censure."

BTW if you're a vendor, you should submit your information to SOLINET so that you can be included in this database.

National Library Week Tip #1

This is National Library Week in the U.S. During this week, I'm going to post five tips (one per day) related to marketing digital libraries (which often include digitized materials).

What is a digital library? It may be obvious to you, but not to your patrons (also called users or customers). In fact, there is not a standard definition. The School of Information Resources & Library Science at the University of Arizona defines it as a:

Collection of texts, images, etc., encoded so as to be stored, retrieved, and read by computer.

That's not a user-friendly definition, so yours will need to be something simpler and appropriate. Whatever your definition is, make sure that you communicate it to your users and include examples so they can see (understand) what you means. Try to create a definition that is jargon-free. Teach the definition to your staff and include it on materials your produce about your digital library and on the digital library's web site.

Think it's intuitive what's on your digital library web site? Think again.

Even though you may be intimately familiar with the materials on the digital library web site, your users may not be. Help them by providing explanations about the materials. Give overviews of the databases, the image collections, and other materials storied there in electronic form.

Think your users know how these materials relate to what is in your physical brick-n-mortar library (if you have one)? Probably not. To be sure, include that information online. Also post information in your physical library that tells your users what complementary resources are online.

Tell them "the obvious" because it is not obvious. They'll thank you for it.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The New Yorker: Capturing the Unicorn

A student pointed out this article to the class on the seven tapestries known as "The Hunt of the Unicorn" owned by the Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art) in New York City. The tapestries were removed from the Cloisters for a construction project. Since the backs of the tapestries had been exposed to very little light, the images on the back were bright and vibrant. A decision was made to make digital images of the backs. The article says:
To make a digital image of the Unicorn tapestries was one of the most difficult assignments that Bridgers had ever had. She [Barbara Bridgers] put together a team to do it, bringing in two consultants, Scott Geffert and Howard Goldstein, and two of the Met's photographers, Joseph Coscia, Jr., and Oi-Cheong Lee. They built a giant metal scaffolding inside the wet lab, and mounted on it a Leica digital camera, which looked down at the floor. The photographers were forbidden to touch the tapestries; Kathrin Colburn and her team laid each one down, underneath the scaffold, on a plastic sheet. Then the photographers began shooting. The camera had a narrow view; it could photograph only one three-by-three-foot section of tapestry at a time. The photographers took overlapping pictures, moving the camera on skateboard wheels on the scaffolding. Each photograph was a tile that would be used to make a complete, seamless mosaic of each tapestry.
This resultant files were so numerous and large, that an unforeseen problem occurred -- the files couldn't be merged together to create complete images! Read the article for the details.

* * * * *

Thanks, Elizabeth, for pointing out this article.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Carrie Mae Weems, artist-in-residence this year at Syracuse University (SU), gave a talk yesterday about her project at SU. In her talk, she used the word neighborhood. That made me think about how big and how small our world is.

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner -- in talking about the suffrage movement and Matilda Joslyn Gage, who lived in Fayetteville, NY -- has said that the social movements in the 1800s influences each other. Wagner points to a map of who lived where in the neighborhood as proof. Here in this house was someone who was involved in the suffrage movement, while over here was a known abolitionist, and over there was someone in the temperance movement. They knew each other and interacted with each other. They had to -- they were neighbors.

As I listened to Carrie Mae, I wondered if a online digital images exhibit (or even an interactive or multimedia exhibit) can give us a real peek into a neighborhood. Can it truly relay how and when people interacted? What their lives were like? Can it tell us how small and intimate their worlds were? And what about virtual reality? I don't know but, having given this some thought, I believe we should try.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Developing a Regional Approach to Digitization in Western NY

The Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) has begun a two-year project entitled "Developing a Regional Approach to Digitization in Western New York." The announcement of the LSTA grant, which is funding this project, is in WNYLRC's newsletter. (BTW I'm pleased to be working on this project.)

So what will happen over the next two years? There will be:
  • Workshops on various aspects of digitization
  • A vendor fair (or digitization expo) to include demonstrations of regional projects
  • Discussions and information sessions
  • Research into federated searching options
  • A survey to gather information from member libraries including information on their historic/archive collections
  • Research into equipment that member institutions and WNYLRC could use for digitization
  • The development of a digitization plan
  • And more...

Stay turned for more about this (lessons learned, etc.). I hoping that WNYLRC will start a blog for this project. If they (we) do, I'll let you know.

Six institutions given grants to digitize newspapers

Someone mentioned this yesterday and -- lo and beyond -- I checked Bloglines today and find the information!

In order to increase access to older newspapers, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress have announced that six institutions have received more than $1.9 million in grants in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This program is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers that are now in the public domain. The six institutions are (along with their grant amounts):
  • University of California, Riverside, $400,000
  • University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville, $320,959
  • University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington, $310,000
  • New York Public Library, New York City, $351,500
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, $352,693
  • Library of Virginia, Richmond, $201,226
Over two years, each will digitize 100,000 or more pages of its state most historically significant newspapers published between 1900 and 1910. The completed work will be made available through the Library of Congress's web site.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, "We hope the National Digital Newspaper Program inspires other institutions to make their public domain newspapers accessible online." That's a nice sentiment, but I hope those "other institutions" have the money to make his dream a reality.

5th International Web Archiving Workshop and Digital Preservation

This is being held in conjunction with the 9th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL 2005) in Vienna, Austria (September 18-23, 2005). The web site states: (BTW could they have made the type any bigger?!)
The workshop will provide a cross domain overview on active research and practice in all domains concerned with the acquisition, maintenance and preservation of digital objects for long-term access, with a particular focus on web archiving and studies on effective usage of this type of archives.

It is also intended to provide a forum for interaction among librarians, archivists, academic and industrial researchers interested in establishing effective methods and developing improved solutions for data acquisition, ingest, and accessibility maintenance.

Although registration information is not online yet (due in May), there is a call for papers. Paper submissions are due by June 1.

Have you seen the Digital Document Quarterly?

The Ten Thousand Year Blog mentioned this publication which is new to me. It's done by Henry M. Gladney of HMG Consulting and has been published quarterly since the beginning of 2002. Although it sounds like a journal, it reads more like a blog. You might consider skimming a couple of issues just to see someone else's point of view.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Apprenticeships: A story

In thinking about apprenticeships, I am reminded of a story of a young man who wanted to learn about jade. So he went to the jade master who agreed to teach him about jade. The master had the young man sit in front of him, gave him a piece of jade to hold in his hands, and began to talk about life. At the end of several hours, he sent the young man home and told him to return the next day.

When the young man returned the next day, he again had him hold a piece of jade and spoke to him all day long about the wonders of nature. At the end of the day, he sent the young man home. This ritual went on for several days.

Finally one morning the young man came and protested. He wanted to learn about jade, not about these other things. What was the master doing? The master asked him to be quiet and to sit down and again handed him a stone. The young man exclaimed, "this is not jade!" "See," said the master, "you have been learning."

In apprenticeships (as with internships and on-the-job training) learning can happen passively. One learns by interacting with the materials, the processes and the people -- valuable ways of learning.

Bottom line -- We need to explore apprenticeships as a way of indoctrinating more people to creating, managing, marketing and preserving digital assets.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Apprenticeships in digitization

On April 1, John Dean, the Preservation and Conservation Librarian in the Department of Preservation and Collection Maintenance of Cornell University Library, gave the inaugural lecture of an endowed lecture and workshop series funded by the Brodsky Endowment for the Advancement of Library Conservation at Syracuse University's Bird Library. During his lecture, Dean spoke about the apprenticeship he did when he was in his 20s (a long time ago) in order to learn the book arts (the traditional crafts of book-making).

As he spoke, it occurred to me that an apprenticeship in digitization that lasted for several years would be a wonderful way to teach all of the aspects of digitization in away that would ensure that the person could go out, work on and lead a major project. As with the book arts, the apprentice would start by learning the basics by actually doing them. The person would be then trained on more advanced concepts as well as other areas (e.g., digitization, metadata, digital preservation) by actually doing the work with those who are experienced in the areas (...those that have already been thrown into the fire and can teach others what they learned from that experience...).

Imagine being an apprentice on the Colorado Digitization Program for several years (paid, of course) and being able to learn all the aspects of the project. Picture the types of projects you could lead (or envision) after such an apprenticeship. Think of how prepared you would be to contribute to the future of digitization and digital libraries.

Wouldn't it be great if funding agencies funded apprenticeships? Wouldn't that be a great way of ensuring the future of digitization? And wouldn't it be great if projects created apprenticeships? They would reap the benefit while providing valuable training.

Is Google's ambition deterring other digitization projects?

Peter Suber's posting in Open Access News asks an interesting question. Are project stopping because they think Google will do it for them?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

CD and DVD expiration dates being debated

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Government Information Preservation Working Group, or GIPWoG, is trying to develop a standard way of labeling CDs and DVDs for longevity. They have a survey available online asking people for their opinions. The survey will be available until May 31, 2005. Take the survey and let your concern be heard.

By the way, CNet has a good article on this.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Minolta book scanners

Back in March, there were postings on the Archives discussion list about book scanners. The Minolta scanners were mentioned.

The PS5000C is a face-up publications scanner. It handles normal sized "books" and has an optional cradle to ensure that the bindings are not harmed. The scanner will scan one page in 3.4 seconds. According to information found on the Internet, this scanner may cost $12,000.

The PS7000 is also a face-up publications scanner and can handle oversized materials. It has a built-in book cradle. This machine will scan a page in 4.5 seconds. The manuals for this scanner are available on its web site. (Could be interesting reading...)

Since both scanners rely on an operator for turning pages, etc., the number of pages scanned per hour will be dependent on that person.

April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day is a holiday that is not celebrated everywhere. It's a day of harmless, practical jokes. A day of laughter. It is hard to celebrate online since part of the fun is seeing the reaction on someone's face. And online you can't do things like switch the salt and the sugar (which leads to people putting salt in their morning coffee).

Bloglines ran a nice April 1 press release. The byline clues you into the fact that its a joke (Oakland, CA, Earth -- Stardate: 2005.4.1). Fun to read...but do wish they could see the look on my face.

The Government of Canada Announces Upcoming Amendments to the Copyright Act

Newsflash from Ottawa:
Minister of Industry David L. Emerson and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla today [March 24, 2005] released a Statement, on behalf of the Government of Canada, outlining proposed amendments to the Copyright Act that will address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet. These amendments will fulfill the Government's commitment to address the short-term group of copyright reform issues.
This is good news for Canadian. The full press release is available here.

Remember that Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law from the University of Ottawa, did a presentation on the problems with Canadian copyright law several weeks ago. My blog entry on it contains a link to the video of that event.

Following the Trail of the Disappearing Data

Victoria McCargar, senior editor with the Los Angeles Times has written a Seybold Report entitled "Following the Trail of the Disappearing Data." (The article is currently available for free.) In talking about newspapers covering the loss of digital data, McCargar notes:
So it is ironic that even as they're publishing stories about data fragility, newspapers haven't quite made he connection with what is going on in their own electronic morgues.

The article goes on to talk about the problems and issues confronting newspapers and their digital materials. It is a reminder of the work we need to be doing...